Originally Posted by auguzt
Dunno.... Did Honda ever sell a HRC kit? For the Dakar?
Remember that these people are used to pick their own race bikes and put them all (but one for their own museum) into a press.
I think there will be only one HRC team with HRC bikes. And all the other Honda bikes will be built by privateers with self-developed kits.
Don't know about their previous Dakar bikes, but Honda have a long history of selling "race kit" parts for all their proddy racers, in various 'grades' depending on what you've got to spend and how fast you want to go.
The "taking them all back to Japan and crushing them" thing is only AFAIK the recent MotoGP bikes, since they stopped selling them to people and started leasing them instead.
I think they'll adopt the 'race kit' approach for the Dakar.
I also wonder if it's this, rather than what the factory team achieves, that should have folks in Mattighofen looking worried. At the minute there's no middle ground in the orange lineup. If you've got the cash you might be able to buy a 450RR, but they are only turning out 30(?) a year, and probably don't have the capacity to do any more. If you can't get hold of one, you've got to buy an EXC/SX and go shopping at Mecasystem/whoever.
Imagine if you could go out and buy a CRF from your local Honda dealer, then keep throwing kit parts at it until you either run out of money or you end up with something which is almost the same spec Helder has. Then imagine that there's an HRC truck or two following the Dakar, full of spares just like the KTM truck.
If Honda really wanted to make a point, the middle part of the field might look very different in a few years time.
Anyway, that's enough wild conjecture for now.